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The 2002 Lake Sonoma Russian River Chardonnay reminds us of why the Russian River appellation is the most consistent producer of premium Chardonnay in California. This viticultural region turns out a plethora of Chardonnay wines that are just ripe for the picking, and this one is even a cut above. The 2002 Lake Sonoma Chardonnay sports a brilliant sunshine yellow robe, followed by the scent of tropical fruit, and a mere hint of spice and tropical flowers, which set the stage for perfect summer drinking. What follows is round generous fruit, edged by spice and subtle oak, and finished with a clean citrus glean - further testimony to the Russian River's prowess with Chardonnay as well as Chris Willis' deft hand at handling this chameleon like varietal. Initially, we suggest serving this medium-bodied offering fairly well chilled (40º - 45º F), especially if you are consuming it in warm weather or outside on the deck. Inside, or in more temperate surroundings, a slightly more ambient temperature will reveal additional fruit and subtle nuances of flavor.
Given the round balanced style of the 2002 Lake Sonoma Chardonnay, salmon that is prepared just about anyway you like it except raw, would be our first order of the day or evening; the king of fish and the queen of grapes have developed a natural affinity that has not gone unnoticed by famous chefs and ordinary everyday cooks alike. A Maryland style lump crab cake, served with a roasted summer corn and tomato relish is another favorite pairing. Seared scallops in a light herb infused cream sauce makes for a mighty pleasant evening in the company of the 2002 Lake Sonoma Chardonnay as well. Flounder and most other white fish, salads, and pastas in cream-based sauces are also recommended. And of course, a beautiful evening under the stars with that special someone is hardly an awful way to consume a bottle of this pretty Chardonnay, either. Enjoy!
Lake Sonoma Winery is a small intimate 20-acre hillside estate, nestled among the rolling slopes of the beautiful Dry Creek Valley. Founded originally in 1977 by Robert and Mary Lou Polson, this hidden treasure was purchased in 1996 by Gary Heck, California's premier sparkling wine producer and the driving force behind Kenwood Vineyards as well as other historic Sonoma county properties. Since December of 1999, Lake Sonoma has showcased its brand new state of the art winery, along with the property's spectacular site and panoramic views, by producing an array of equally stunning wines. At Lake Sonoma Winery, Chardonnay and Zinfandel reign supreme, sharing the noble honors among the estate's varietals. Here two award-winning Zinfandels are produced each year from Dry Creek vineyards, while the estate's excellent Chardonnay hails from the nearby Russian River appellation. In addition, Lake Sonoma also fashions a tasty Cabernet Sauvignon. All of the estate's 10,000 case production is made by Chris Willis, a native Sonoma County icon, whose best known work has been the recent excitement surrounding a still wine program at Korbel - one of the largest premium sparkling wine ventures on the planet.
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